Dutch World Cup defeat 'nightmare,' says Robben

SpasDelev- Cropped

SpasDelev- Cropped

Despite an improved post-interval performance, Netherlands could not conjure a way back into the contest and after their failure to qualify for Euro 2016, their hopes of reaching Russian Federation next year seem slim with Blind's side now fourth in the group, three points adrift of second-placed Sweden and six behind leaders France.

The 55-year-old had questioned his own future following Saturday's loss in Sofia, which left the Dutch six points off the pace at the halfway stage of the European qualifying campaign for the 2018 finals in Russian Federation.

"But because the results are unfortunately disappointing, and the qualification for the World Cup in Russian Federation is hard, we feel forced to part ways", Decossaux said in an official statement issued by KNVB.

Assistant coach Fred Grim will take temporary for the friendly against Italy on Tuesday.

But De Ligt's dream debut quickly became a nightmare, making two fatal errors in the first 20 minutes before suffering the indignity of being substituted at half time to save further humiliation.

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Blind started 17-year-old Matthijs de Ligt.

Netherlands captain Arjen Robben stuck by his coach after the match, saying the players were also responsible.

After the match, Blind accepted responsibility for the shock defeat, which was sure to lead to questions about his leadership.

Blind was informed of the decision to sack him at a meeting with KNVB football director Jean Paul Decossaux and technical director Hans van Breukelen on Sunday.

"We have respect for what Danny meant to us and the team during his tenure".

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Along with Koeman, Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu are other Dutch managers linked with the job, but Decossaux will also look at foreign coaches.

"Ronald Koeman is undoubtedly capable, but I know he is under contract with a club".

"We're on the pitch and we have to perform, " he said.

Since he left to join Manchester United, however, the Dutch side have been in freefall, failing to qualify for last year's European Championship and in serious danger of not making the World Cup.

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